The View co-host Joy Behar said Thursday that her comment Tuesday that Vice President Mike Pence might have a “mental illness” because of his Christian faith was just a joke after Pence publicly criticized the remarks.
The hosts mocked Pence after playing a clip of fired White House aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman describing his “scary” religion. Behar said hearing the voice of Jesus in your head qualified as “mental illness.”
“Like I said before, it’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you,” Behar said. “That’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct. Hearing voices.”
Pence fired back at the hosts on Wednesday and accusing them of religious intolerance.
“To have ABC maintain a broadcast forum that compared Christianity to mental illness is just wrong,” Pence said. “And it’s an insult not to me, but to the vast majority of the American people who, like me, cherish their faith.”
Behar disputed that charge on Thursday saying that her comment was a joke.
“I don’t mean to offend people, but apparently I keep doing it,” Behar said with a laugh. “It was a joke. Comedians are in danger these days.”
Behar added that if she believed that if Christians were mentally ill then she would also fall into that category since she was Christian as well as her mother.
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg tried to defend the show by saying it has featured a range of conversations and jokes about religion and other topics and said Pence’s charge was out of bounds.
The lone conservative host Meghan McCain then jumped in to defend Pence and apologize to him for what her co-hosts said.
“We’re living in incredibly divisive times right now; we all know that,” McCain said. “As a Republican, I feel like sometimes liberals say, ‘We need to be tolerant of everyone, we need to be tolerant of everyone—except pro-lifers, except Trump supporters, except gun owners, except for everyone in the red in the middle of the country—'”
Goldberg cut McCain short and said she should not be so divisive by talking about what liberals believe.
“I’m going to stop you because that’s not actually true,” Goldberg told McCain. “We don’t want to talk about liberals and what they’re doing or whatever because I’m trying to get out of this because this is what they’ve asked me to do.”